Titanic victim’s letter sells for record price


A letter written by a Titanic passenger sold at auction last Saturday for 126,000 pounds ($166,000). Alexander Holverson wrote the letter to his mother on embossed Titanic stationery and tucked it inside his pocketbook.

The next day, his ship hit an iceberg and sank. Holverson did not survive, but his body was recovered. His letter was found and given to his mother. When he wrote it, he had no idea his words would make global headlines more than a century later.

In a week, the world will observe the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church, an act instrumental in beginning the Protestant Reformation. Historians agree that Luther had no idea his action would birth such a legacy. But if you are a Protestant Christian, you can trace your spiritual roots to his courage.

If you were on a Bible quiz show and the host asked you to identify Gad the seer, what would you say? When you’ve finished reading this Daily Article, you’ll discover how his story connects to the Titanic and the Reformation, and you’ll see why it is so relevant to your life and culture today.

Meet ‘David’s seer’

We first encounter Gad when David was fleeing from murderous King Saul and “the prophet Gad” gave him guidance that led him to safety (1 Samuel 22:5). “Prophet” translates the Hebrew nabi, describing a person who speaks from and for God.

Many years later, King David demanded that a census be taken of his nation’s military capacity. Such a prideful act glorified the king rather than the Lord and demonstrated greater trust in his army than in his God.

The king soon realized the sinfulness of his action and prayed for forgiveness. The next morning, “the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer” (2 Samuel 24:11).

“Seer” translates the Hebrew hozeh, from the root Hebrew word for “vision.” The word means “one who sees” and describes Gad as a person who…

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